Cooper, Richard K.; Enright, Frederick M.
Date Posted: 3/5/2002
Patent Status: issued
Patent Number: 5,998,698 Abstract:
Novel means have been discovered for increasing the resistance of an animal host (including humans) to diseases caused by intracellular bacteria, protozoa and viruses. The infection treated may, for example, be equine infectious anemia or infection by the human immunodeficiency virus. Novel means have also been found for treating tumors. Augmentation of the host's defenses against infectious diseases or tumors is achieved by "arming" the host's cells with an exogenous gene encoding a natural or synthetic lytic peptide. For example, the transfection of hematopoietic stem cells and embryonic cells will produce animals with enhanced disease resistance, and transfection of TIL (tumor infiltrating lymphocytes) cells or other cells can be used in the treatment of tumors. Genes coding for a cecropin or other native or synthetic lytic peptide can be transferred and stably expressed in mammalian, bony fish, other vertebrate and other animal cells. The transformed cells have the ability to produce and secrete a broad-spectrum chemotherapeutic agent that has a systemic effect on certain pathogens, particularly pathogens that might otherwise evade or overcome host defenses.